I get inspiration from some wierd places. Tonight it’s the 2008 movie “Hancock”. Charlize Theron’s character tells Hancock “I thought you wouldn’t miss what you didn’t remember” and it just stuck.
I’ve heard many talks about this kind of topic before now and it’s not hit me until now. We long for a place we’ve never been. We long for experiences this world can never give us – and we know it can never give it to us, but we long for it anyway.
CS Lewis said “If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.” (Mere Christianity)
It makes sense.
There’s a song I heard, recorded by The Vocal Union in acapella a few years ago whith the line “I’m kinda homesick for a country, a place that I’ve never been before”. I really understand that. It’s funny how that thought can be triggered by a secular movie.
We weren’t built for the World we live in. We were designed for Eden. The blueprint didn’t change when the Fall happened because it was hardwired into us. We were designed to be in God’s image. We were built for Eternal life – knowing Jesus Christ and the Father (see John 16) – and to live and interact directly with Him as an essential part of our daily life.
Other places God has used include “Reposessed”, a Leslie Nielson spoof of “The Exorcist” which reminds me how we need to be single-minded andfocussed only on what God has called us to and nothing more. He stands his ground against the protagonist as his colleague and friend pays the price for his focus. We need to be able to do that as well.
But mainly we long for what we don’t remember. It calls to us as we walk this life. Every flower, every drop of rain cries out the Glory of God. As Jesus noted, the rocks themselves cry out the Glory of their creator – and we can’t escape it. We allow ourselves to be “voluntarily lost” from the pull on our heart. As humans we try to fill it with things that in our deepest places we know will never fill it completely, but may dull the ache for a while. For some it’s the pull of money. Financial wealth built into the value of a small country controlled by an individual. Seriously, if it’s not financially viable for an individual to surrender the value of the time to pick up a $100 bill, there’s something very wrong. And there’s a few people that’s true for.
Even the most “philanthropic” individuals retain the majority of their wealth – despite having personal fortunes that could eliminate the debt of a third world country and leave change – then that individual has too much, no matter what they do.
The majority of the world will go to sleep tonight hungry, whilst production quotas prevent first-world countries from shipping the excess they produce to them to provide decent nutrition to billions of lives whilst artificially inflating the prices of those same commodities in their domestic markets.
Somewhere inside we remember what we were meant for, the Glory we were designed to reflect and share in – as His representatives, the crowning achievement of Creation and the only ones built in His Image. Eve was the final measure, something as men we tend to forget. Adam was created first, then – just to show off – God creates Eve out of the best of Adam.
But we don’t remember. We long for t, but we don’t remember.
We need to learn to remind ourselves that we were made for a purpose, and whether you’re a (yikes) white, middle-aged guy living in a country that actually doesn’t want you or a suitably “qualified” (in South Africa read ‘Black’) individual you still have a purpose that’s God-appointed and no earthly policy can get in the way of it. God will open doors for us to fill posts that will allow us to express His ideas and ideals to the World. We are called to be a living reminder to the World that there is something more than this world can comprehend.
“Atheists” will doubtless disagree with me, but I will disagree with them. They will say a line is straight of skew, but to say that there must be a reference that says “this is straight” or “this is skew” hardwired into us. It’s not something you see in nature. I’ve never seen a chimpanzee lining up a plank to make sure it’s planed and honed perfectly straight and smooth. It’s unlikely that a hippo in a pool actually cares if the pool is a perfect circle or not. Atheism cannot explain the detail we search for in our lives. It cannot explain the need for certain lines to be “right” and others being “wrong” without a concept of what “right” and “wrong” are.
We instinctively know what “right” is. We recognise it in justice, natural physical laws and so on, but what it is exactly is uncertain to us. Until we remember what we’ve never experienced.
Once we do that we begin to touch God in a new way. In the way He intended.
The way we long for.
The way we miss, but we’ve never experienced.
The way it’s open to us thanks to Jesus rebuilding the way to relationship.
It’s there. Waiting for us to allow restoration.
Waiting for the memory to be restored.